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AVB: Townsend not assured of place

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has indicated that new England star Andros Townsend is not assured of a place in the Spurs line-up.

Andros Townsend
Townsend sparkled for England.

• Crace: Three into one won't go

Townsend has been hailed as an emerging star after sparkling displays against Montenegro and Poland in England's decisive World Cup qualifiers.

But with 30 million pound summer signing Erik Lamela, Aaron Lennon, Nacer Chadli and Gylfi Sigurdsson all competing for wide roles in Sunday's game at Aston Villa, Villas-Boas said: "It's a question of what serves the team and who’s performing better.

"Whenever someone is doing well, they deserve to keep their place. [Townsend] knows he has tough competition, not just from Lamela and Lennon but also from Sigurdsson and Chadli.

"There are only two wide positions up for grabs, and they all have to compete. He knows that and we continue to asses that, but performances like this keep your place in the team for Tottenham and England.

"Whenever he has been called up, by myself or Roy Hodgson, he has given great performances."

Villas-Boas had previously voiced concern that Townsend's England call-up may not have enhanced his development because he may not have been given a chance to shine.

However, he said he had not been surprised by the player's impact, adding: "It's wonderful for him and comes along with the explosion he had in the Premier League. He is doing extremely well for club and country, and deserves credit.

"We're very proud of what he has done, seeing him play with so much confidence and determination.

"It is part of his growing up as a player. It is good recognition from the media and the fans around the world. I expect him to be the same player as he was so far. I don’t expect it to divert his attention.

"He will be more exposed to the public eye, more demand for his performances, but I'm sure he can handle it."

Villas-Boas went on to express his hope that the controversy surrounding comments made by Hodgson in the England dressing room at half-time against Poland would be brought to an end.

"Roy assumed his responsibility, he has apologised, Townsend said no offence was taken -- I think we should all move on," he said.

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